Content Marketing on Social Media: 10 Tips that Work All the Time
Social media today affects practically every aspect of our lives. We don’t just go there to check what our friends are doing. Here, we discover all the latest news that matters, from a recent Firefly launch to NASA getting ready to blow up an asteroid. Businesses doing social media marketing do not surprise anyone anymore, but even now, not everyone can fully leverage the power of social media.
For a large corporation, there is no question about hiring a social media team. But as a small business, do you really need a social media manager? The answer to that depends on a budget and the amount of free time a small business owner has. Sometimes, it makes sense to hire someone; sometimes, it could be better to manage social presence all on your own. In any case, you need to understand the basics of content marketing on social media.
And yes — it is always about content, no matter if it comes in the form of blog posts, videos, or funny kitten pictures. It’s all about content. So, what do you do about it?
#1 Define social media platforms you need first
Today’s number of social media sites is overwhelming, but that doesn’t mean you need them all. Any coherent social media strategy starts with the basics — figuring out which platforms to use in the first place. This, in turn, depends on your business specifics and your target customers. Without understanding your target audience, it is impossible to choose social media sites that would be the most effective for your business promotion.
Sure, this may sound like Marketing 101, but in practice, plenty of business owners have difficulty understanding their target audience. If, for example, you run a cafe, it would seem that anyone in the area is a potential client — everyone eats, right? In practice, there are other things to consider — dietary habits, income, marital status, etc. The same logic applies to all other businesses. When you figure out your target audience, choose social media sites these people use the most.
#2 Always have a social media plan
Promoting content on social media is not just about creativity — it’s about planning and logic. Designing your content plans in advance ensures that you stay in line with your social media goals, no matter if those are increasing the number of followers, boosting sales, or driving more traffic to your website.
Another reason to have a content plan is that social media content promotion is about offering your audience something valuable, not just trying to sell them stuff. As Gary Vaynerchuk, an established business owner and a social media influencer, explains in his book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook, social media is about giving before asking people to do something for you — buy, register, subscribe, etc. So, your content plan should ‘give, give, give’ users something they need first. Then, you can ask them to do something for you. And the ‘give, give, give, ask’ circle restarts.
Sticking to your social media calendar is equally important because when people don’t hear from you often, they forget all about you. It’s a noisy digital world, after all. And that’s why you definitely need a social media content plan.
#3 Repurpose newly-optimized content
When you start working on a social media plan, you’ll see that content promotion needs a lot of content — perhaps, more than you anticipated. Creating great content, no matter if those are blog posts, infographics, or videos, takes a lot of time. The good news, you can always repurpose what you already have. A blog post can become an infographic or act as material for a new video. The best thing about this approach is not only that it saves a lot of time and effort on content creation; it also gives you a chance to adjust your content to the specifics of each social media platform you are using. For some sites, videos work best; for others, articles or pictures would be a better choice.
#4 Respond to feedback, especially negative one
Like the audience on social media listening to you grows, you will face negative feedback — that’s a fact. Engaging with your followers on social media in comments is rule #1 on any social media site. It’s easy when everyone praises you, but the real face of a business becomes obvious in its response to negative feedback. Even today, when everyone knows that responding to feedback is vital, many businesses still ignore negative comments on their posts. Don’t do that. Don’t — ever — do that.
Suppose someone is criticizing your service or product. In that case, it is important to politely apologize (without boot-licking, though) and assure that such an unfortunate situation was a mistake and it should never happen again. You can offer something tangible as an apology — a gift, a discount on the next visit, etc. But no boot-licking, remember?
If you adopt this policy to your social media communication, there is a chance that you can convert an opponent into an advocate. But, even if you don’t, other social media followers will see that you care about your customers and your reputation. And that means the world to most clients.
#5 Use social media analytics tools
Tracking every campaign’s results is very important because there is no other way to see if your social media policy works. There are plenty of tools today that can help with that — the actual choice will be platform-specific. Besides, many social media networks have built-in analytics tools of their own, giving you insight on what types of content result in most engagement or even the exact time when people interact with your posts. That is very important because this software can help you figure out the best time for publishing updates. On the software topic, social media management tools can help optimize plenty of routine tasks, i.e., posting daily updates.
#6 Do not be afraid to experiment with content types
Having a social media strategy does not mean that you cannot get creative and experiment with something new now and then. In fact, flexibility and an open mind are the key factors that determine your success on social media. If you use special software to regularly analyze engagement for each social media post, you will have a chance to adjust your strategy, offering your followers the content they like most. Sure, stay reasonable with your experiments — for example, even if someone follows a link to your article from Twitter, it does not mean they will engage with a lengthy post since this network is all about speed and conciseness.
#7 Appeal to emotion whenever necessary
Even major social media news appeals to emotion or at least tries to do so. The whole point of social media content promotion is connecting to your audience on a more personal level. Appealing to emotion does just that, and since all of us do experience emotions, it is important to find topics your audience will relate to. Of course, positive emotions work best in the long run — if you can make your social media followers laugh or reminisce, you’ve nailed it!
#8 Be human, be yourself
One of the best ways to emotionally engage your social media audience is to simply be human. Official, faceless content will never work on social media — just like phony one. Most subscribers will feel when you’re not entirely honest or open. So, interact online as you would interact with people in real life.
#9 Make sure content is easily shareable on social media
No matter if you’re posting a short video of a puppy or a 30-minute-long social media documentary, make sure the content is easy to share. This is the basics of growing your audience on social media, but still, so many businesses forget about it sometimes. Do not make followers look for something because they won’t. Format your posts to make sharing quick and effortless. Or, if you are posting promo materials, urging users to do something — buy, register, watch, follow the link, subscribe — make sure your call-to-action stands out. Because no one will look for it.
#10 Try out new platforms before others get there
New social media apps grow like mushrooms, and no one can say which one will be the next marketing goldmine. Sure, marketing on a barely-populated social media site may seem like a waste of time, but it’s not! This is actually the best way to engage an audience because once a new social media platform becomes popular, marketers will flock like birds. So, this space will instantly become noisy. It’s way easier to share your message with the world when it’s quiet. So, keep up with the latest trends on what your target clients do and where they spend their time. If some of your customers have already started using a certain network, go there at once! It doesn’t matter that no one knows how to market content on a new site — as they say, go where there is no path and leave a trail.
To wrap things up, we do hope that these tips will help you save money on paying a social media manager salary. After all, no one knows or cares more about your business than you, its founder. That makes you the best, most uniquely qualified person to promote your brand and share your vision with the world. As your business grows, you may want to delegate some of your social media responsibilities to another person — after all, creating quality content takes time and effort, not just creativity. But at least now you know how to market it on social media, right?
Emily Moore is an English & programming teacher with a passion for space and blogging. She believes that current exploration should be focused on preserving our planet’s resources. With satellites circling the orbit, it is easier to get relevant data on any environmental changes. This, in turn, should help people quickly address any challenges.